BCM110: Media Audiences

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The definition of ‘media audiences’ has expanded since the time where the family would sit around a small box and watch live-aired television. With the rise of streaming services and other media platforms, individuals can watch the same show wherever and whenever they want. My question is, if you’re not an active viewer of a show itself, but are engaged in the stories and news about it, are you still an audience?

A time where I was part of an audience that I want to discuss would be the collective viewing of Married at First Sight. I usually start the year thinking “no thanks I don’t want to waste my time catching up on reality TV,” however after scrolling through my social media and watching the reactions, the memes and the comments, I always seems to give in. This year was no different.

Reasons for watching this ghastly, over-dramatised “social experiment” would include my guilty please for reality tv and drama, the peer pressure to watch by my close friends and family, and FOMO (fear of missing out). I’m sure the nation thinks the same, with MAFS rating no.1 on the 11th of march with 136,000 views.

It’s a pleasurable experience because it weirdly brings my family together for an hour and a half, 4 days a week to watch the show. It’s also fun to talk about it with the people around me. It’s interesting to watch how the entire nation, including myself become so consumed in the clearly staged, badly edited drama. It also doesn’t stop at just watching the show. The memes that follow are the parts that my friends and I look forward to. Like the bad lip reading videos. We are also consumed in the fake news that culminates post-episodes, and also what is happening to the participants in present time. I can talk to people about the show whom have never watched it before, yet know all about it through platforms such as facebook.

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The negatives that are included with the mass amounts of different viewing options would include having spoilers before you even watch the show. The large amount of fake news that ultimately concludes the status of the relationships in the show is incredibly disappointing.

It’s interesting that in this day and age, there are so many viewing options; through TV, the internet and social media, that even if you do not watch the program when it airs or even at all, you still know what is happening and ultimately become part of the audience.

Resources:

Mediaweek, 2019. TV Rating March 11: MAFS 1.3m as the brides homestays start. Mediaweek. Available at: https://mediaweek.com.au/tv-rating-march-11-2019/ [Accessed 20 March 2019].

For fun: Married At First Sight (Bad Lip Reading) – Hi Josh Recaps – Week 11

5 thoughts on “BCM110: Media Audiences

  1. MAFS is also a guilty pleasure of mine and even though I don’t particularly think its a good show, I think you’re absolutely right that a large part of the reason it is so popular (besides the FOMO) is that it’s something people can talk about and bond over. Here’s an article on why MAFS is good to watch that I think you might find interesting…
    https://www.abc.net.au/life/why-watching-bad-reality-tv-like-mafs-is-good-for-you/10944428
    I really love your description of ‘the audience’ in this post, I think it’s clear and very well explained, also your writing style is great, you definitely have an interesting voice! Just as a suggestion, maybe next time you could add a couple more photos, gifs or other visuals to break up the text? Regardless, I can’t wait to read more 🙂

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  2. I hate to admit it but as a twenty year old straight male, I low key enjoy watching MAFS. Not because of the cheesy love affairs but for the drama that ‘Cyclone Cyrell’ brings to the dinner table. I agree with how you mentioned that MAFS brings together people as a major topic of conversation both at home and online. Just like every reality tv show I believe that if you are person who is there from the show’s first episode or a late comer, anyone is a part of the audience. Also, the tv show Gogglebox as shown in the lecture, is a great example of a media audience in a home setting. Really enjoyable read and I like how you were clear and a perfect amount of glyphs and videos were used.

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  3. I liked how you mentioned that being audience on social media, influenced you to engage with other media. I think its an interesting concept that with social media we are part of a wider audience that has real influence on our decisions – even trivial ones like feeling the FOMO of reality tv. there seems to be an extended sub culture that you mentioned; with the memes that follow episodes and conversations with friends. I think media audiences do shape culture, and we really aren’t as passive as people think – like you pointed out you KNOW the show is poorly staged, completely orchestrated, but we still like to get caught up in it anyway.

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  4. This was actually really interesting to read!!!! I don’t watch MAFS however I do see how an audience can build from a reality tv show. I really enjoyed reading it especially with the end clip that was really funny. You gave a lot of good detail into what a collective viewing was and in particular watching tv wherever and whenever.

    In regards to the format of your blog it would have been good to broken the beginning up a little more. You can break it up with a separator.

    Other than that this was really interesting, well thought out and detailed.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts!!

    Take care 🙂

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  5. I love how you’ve used a personal example of being a fan of reality TV! It’s so fun to see how many people in Australia get involved into one big conversation and become a large active audience. I also loved how you said it brings your family together, I think thats one thing about reality TV that we can appreciate watching reality show’s with other people such as family and friends to talk about it instead of being not social on your laptop in your room by yourself.
    I think if anything you could look more into other Australian reality TV shows as well to show if they all do the same thing.

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